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Desert Nurse

Diamond Princess 5/15 late embarkation

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I don't know if someone had already posted this information, but I boarded the Diamond Princess in Seattle yesterday. Customs/Immigration held up the disembarkation of the previous cruise because some passengers from Honduras refused to meet with the immigration officer. People were getting off the ship as late as 1:30 PM. We were on fairly quickly and didn't get on the ship until about 2:20 PM. We stood in line for 3 1/2 hours waiting to get on the ship, and others were in line much longer. I'm glad we have late afternoon flights on our way home because a lot of people missed their flights yesterday.

 

Another new turn, when the porters take your luggage at the dock, you are required to go with them to drop the luggage off in the building to show your ID. This is new a new regulation for the Seattle Port so there was a lot of confusion. Later, I did see them unloading a lot of luggage from a truck without the owners present, so maybe it is just the independent travelers who need to do this so be warned!

 

The first night they had the steakhouse menu in the traditional dining room in addition to the regular menu. The traditional dining room was empty, probably because everyone was worn out!

 

Despite the horrible embarkation, we love the ship and are having a wonderful time!

 

Cricket

 

Diamond Princess, Alaska 5/15/04

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Diamond Princess, Mexico, 9/25/04

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Island Princess, Hawaii 3/20/05

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Hey Crickett! Are you in the internet cafe now too?

 

As mentioned above, embarkation was a hellish experience. We arrived at 11:20 am. Over a thousand (maybe two?) had to stand in line outside for more than 3 hours before boarding the ship. I felt bad for the elder folks who had nowhere to sit all that time. I wanted to tell all future cruisers that if you are NOT checking bags you can go directly to the ticketing area without having to stand in the long line (we learned this the hard way-when we got up to the baggage handlers they told us we could have proceeded directly check in, drat icon_eek.gif)

 

Did I mention that we almost didn't get on the ship? WE FORGOT OUR PASSPORTS icon_eek.gif We were about 5 mins before check in when I realized I did not pack them. I almost started crying but hubby told me to wait till we got to the counter. Thank goodness the agent said she'd make a rare exception for us, we filled out a form declaring that we are US citizens and luckily we provided Princess our Passport numbers before online. I thanked the agent with all my heart and gave her a nice tip, she certainly deserved it. I am still in shock that I made such a foolish mistake and Princess has aleady won me over at this point.

 

Now to the good stuff. We finally reached our room at 2:40. We made the restaurant PC reservations for 5:30 & 6:00 for 2 with no problems. I took photos of the formal dinner menu and will post when we return. Dress code was very relaxed last night, most people in the Santa Fe dining room at approx 5:30-6:00 were in jeans. I think people were just too tired from the long wait to get dressed up.

 

Food: Buffet was understandably(sp)crowded at 3PM. Ate light to save room for dinner. Some people were searching for spots to sit, but if you go to the back of the ship there is more space availible. Buffet food was fine.

Dinner at Santa Fe was good. Desserts were great.

 

At Sea day: where I am right now icon_biggrin.gif Hubby & I walked around the ship and saw baby dolphins at around 11:30, just great. Breakfast buffet had good French Toast. Again, 9:15 is a busy breakfast time and some were searching for tables but it wasn't too bad.

 

The ship: just lovely, well laid out, very nice room on the dolphin deck. As all you cruisers know staring out watching the sea is so relaxing.

 

It is cold!!!! Remember to bring warm jackets and such. Too much of a breeze to sit on our Dolphin balciny so we've been just walking around outside of the ship.

 

Having a great time and will check in again in a few days. Happy travels all, Heaven, I'm in heaven....... icon_biggrin.gif

 

Majesty of the Seas (2)

Norwegian Dawn

Monarch of the Seas

Diamond Princess (5/04)

 

[This message was edited by cnmiranda on 05-16-04 at 03:49 PM.]

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Thanks for the reports. icon_smile.gif It much ave been tough yesterday. Sorry!! Glad you are having a great time. Have a nice big drink for me!! icon_biggrin.gif

 

Sue

7 days on Star Princess 10/24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cnmiranda There has been alot of talk about the forward suites as in B104.. If you have a chance could you get a couple questions answered for me.. Do the balconys have plexiglass or a solid steel wall. Also are the balconys door only opened while in port. I have this suite booked for June and have gotten 3 different answers from Princess. The last time I was tolded they tried to call the ship and did not get a answer. Hope the rest of your cruise goes well.

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Hey, you guys get that boarding problem fixed, we are coming aboard right after you so no delays getting off our our ship, we will be on sailing number 2 of four this year on Diamond so be nice to her.

 

Life is at it's best when your address floats

<FONT color=red>Alaska</FONT>

Diamond Princess 05/04 ~~ Mercury 06/02

Rhapsody o.t. Seas 05/98 ~~ Legend o.t. Seas 09/95

<FONT color=red>Mexican Riviera</FONT>

Diamond Princess 12/04

Diamond Princess 11/04 ~~ Diamond Princess 04/04

Sea Princess 01/02 ~~ Vision o.t. Seas 04/02<FONT color=red>

West Coast-Baja Mexico</FONT>

Ecstacy 09/01

<FONT color=red>Eastern Carribean</FONT>

Century 12/97

<FONT color=red>Western Carribean</FONT>

Century 9/96

 

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Hey guys here's some info for you that are cruising now!

we have just got off the Diamond in Seattle on the 15th.

Yes our embarkation was apparently awful for most folks. We got there at 10:00am and were 8th in line - we didn't have to identify our luggage by the way - they just took it from us. We were on board by 12:00pm and watched the others getting on from our Dolphin deck balcony. They were lined up for 3 hours at least - the terminal was full and people were lined up outside. So the moral of the story is....get there early!

 

The cruise was awesome, awesome! The ship is magnificent (our 5th Princess cruise). The food, PC Dining, service and cabins were wonderful - we couldn't fault anything! We had the MOST amazing weather - full sun every day - in Juneau we were wearing T-shirts! Glorious weather - and we had 5 sightings of whales and also Sea Lions. If anyone needs to know anything, I'd be glad to answer questions.

 

Now for the drama!!!! No it had nothing to do with Hondurans by the way. The disembarkation was a total nightmare. Both Princess and Seattle Immigration were at fault. Firstly we had Gold 1 luggage tags and were told we would get off at 8:05am. (Our flight was at 11:40am to Tampa). Well first they let off all the people who didn't need to wait for baggage. Then they called Red 1,2,3 and then Brown 1,2,3,4. We stepped off the ship at 9:45 !!!! Someone slipped up royally - we met a couple off the ship in the airport who told us that they went to the Pursers desk the night before because they were also Gold 1 - and they changed them to Red 1 so they got off early. By the way, the Oosterdam was docked at the same time as us and between the 2 ships approx. 6000 people were being funneled into the same area to await immigration!!! There were only 6 Immigration officers for 6000 people!!!!

Once we were off the ship it took another hour to get through immigration - it was chaos! When we went to get our bags they had mixed up all the Gold 1,2,3 together and it took ages to find them. By this time we were stressed to the max. We had purchased Transfers from Princess but realized that we wouldn't be able to get to the airport in time - 45 mins to our flight - if we had to go by bus. So Princess paid for a taxi, plus tip, for us. We got to the boarding gate as they were boarding!!!

 

My sister and brother-in-law got to the airport 25 minutes before their flight to New York and were told that boarding had already closed. They had given their seats to standby passengers!!!

 

If any of you who are on this cruise now are flying before 1:00pm - make sure they give you the first color tags that are called.

 

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Until Millenium 9/6/2004 to Europe!

 

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Zebra Welcome back, glad you had a wonderful time. A couple of questions: Did you have a balcony cabin? If so, number and location please.

 

On the sighting of whales and sea lions, were you on board? Or, were you on a tour?

 

Thanks much for your response.

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Desert Nurse Welcome back, glad you had a wonderful time. A couple of questions: we will be traveling without Princess transfer. If we take our luggage to porter, do both my husband and I have to go with ID, or can he just take it while I secure our place in line? Also, were you in a balcony cabin? If so, what cabin and deck please. Thanks for your comments.

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I am feeling very nervous about getting on the ship. My mom is pretty elderly and just can't stand in long lines. Last year on the Star to Mexico we had no problems whatsoever. We did not have to go with our luggage. The porter just took it from the cab and we didn't see it again until it was in our room. It was a very smooth and quick (platinum)check-in. Does any one have any information about parking at the Bell Street parking lot? Two years ago we parked there and they took care of our luggage right when we pulled into the lot. I think it was $12 per day to park there and worth it if it leads to a smooth embarkation. Is the vessel by that parking lot? I am very worried that my mom will have a major problem with all the waiting that's been talked about. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

Lynda

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we are saiing on May 22nd so dont know from personal experience, but why dont you call Princess and reguest a wheel chair for you Mother, I am sure they have wheelchair facilities and all other ships I have been on, the whole party with the person goes ahead. I hope things are better for everyone this week

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Hi lyndabaker,

 

Are you driving from Beaverton or flying. We live just east of Hillsboro and are driving up to Seattle on Saturday morning. I hope that embarkation goes smoothly for you and us to. We were told that we just drive up to the luggage drop off and leave our luggage with a porter and proceed to the parking garage. I hope that it works out that way.

DeAnne icon_smile.gif

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Looks like the Diamond Princess and the Oosterdam are going to continue sharing Terminal 30 for a while according to Seattle Port Schedule. I sure hope for all of you sailing these two ships they solve the problem.

 

Future cruises:

5/04 HAL-Amsterdam-Alaska

9/04 Star Princess-Med.x2 Venice to Barcelona/ Barcelona to Rome

11/04 Dawn Princess-Southern Caribbean

Jan. 05 Diamond Princess-Mexican Riviera

July 05 Star Princess-Baltics

Aug. 05 Star Princess-Baltics

Past cruises:

04 Dawn Princess- Southern Caribbean x2

03 Grand Princess-W.Caribbean

03 Sun Princess -Mexico

03-Tahitian Princess-Tahiti/ Cook Islands

03 Royal Princess-x2 British Isles & Norwegian Fjords/ Iceland

03 Island Princess-Panama Canal

01 HAL Ryndam x 2-S. America San Diego to Valpariso/ & around Cape Horn to Rio

00 Sky Princess-China/Orient

79 Sitmar's Fairwind- Caribbean/Panama Canal

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csk: That's a great ideal about the wheel chair. I will call Princess tomorrow and get the info. If I find out anything addiional that would be of interest to everyone, I will let you know. Thanks for the suggestion. Let us know how things go for you when you get back.

 

Dee: Hi neighbor! We are driving up on Friday and staying at the Hampton Inn. We plan to take a cab to the pier on Saturday about 11:30. It's very close to where we are staying. Are you going on the 22nd or 29th?

 

Lynda

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Hi, Lynda,

 

We are going on the 22nd how about you?

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Hi Dee,

 

We're going on the 29th, so I'm depending on you to work out all the kinks before I get there! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

 

Have a wonderful trip,

Lynda

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What happens if you actually miss your flight home after the cruise due to disembarkation problems?

 

Does Princess pay for your hotel, etc?

 

 

 

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I hope Princess fixes the embarkation and disembarkation hassle by 5/29. I am travelling with 3 senior citizens. Plan to go to the port around 11am. We also have a flight leaving at 1pm.

 

Should I worry?

 

Keep us posted anyone else on the cruise.

 

Scott

 

Commodore 1998,1999

Triumph 2000,2001

Inspiration 2002

Pride 05/31/03

Diamond Princess

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The embarkation/disembarkation problems exisited in Seattle last year too. It is not Princess. Customs/immigration would only let a certain number of people off at at time. They controlled the flow off the ship, not Princess.

 

For those of you with elderly passengers, they will get you a wheelchair at the port, but you will still have to move your luggage along. My friend is disabled, and I could not move all the luggage myself so I stood off to the side while she got in line. I bribed a porter to take my luggage first. If you have Princess transfers, it appears they let you go right into ticketing without having to identify your luggage.

 

The customs/immigration officials were not very friendly here last year and this year too. They did tell me the reason for the late disembakation directly and I heard it as well from the Princess reps.

 

If you can change your flights without too much hassle to a later flight, I would. Princess will not pay for a later flight unless you book your air through them, which most of us don't since it is so much less expensive to do it on your own.

 

The embarkation has not ruined our cruise at all! We are having a wonderful time and the ship is wonderful. I have to admit that due to my experiences last year and this year with Seattle, I would probably not sail out of Seattle again for a few years until they get this straightened out.

 

Cricket

 

Diamond Princess, Alaska 5/15/04

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00bfff&cdt=2004;5;15;12;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

 

Diamond Princess, Mexico, 9/25/04

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;9;25;12;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

 

Island Princess, Hawaii 3/20/05

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=da70d6&cdt=2005;3;20;12;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800

 

 

 

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lyndabaker, the ship will not be near that parking lot (pier 66 Bell Street terminal). It will be at Terminal 30, which is quite a distance away.

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We embarked out of Terminal 30 with Princess last year on the Star and will be on the Sapphire this July. You do not need to reserve a wheelchair...just tell them when you get there that someone needs one. We had a member of our party last year that needed one. They will 'not' allow the entire party to go with the one in the wheelchair...just one other member. All luggage, aside from what you are carrying on, is dropped off before you register and is not picked up again upon disembarkation until 'after' you go through immigration...so there is no pushing of luggage ahead unless you are taking it all on personally. I do believe they are xraying it.

Parking at Terminal 30 is not a garage. It is right next to the building and very convenient. There is a bit of a walk to get to the ship and their ramp wound back and forth a couple of times...perhaps because of higher tides in September. I had a bit of a problem since I have to use a cane with a lot of walking and had to stop to catch my breath a couple of times...but made it. I am concerned about disembarking, however...if the lines are so long. It was hard enough last year. Hopefully we can get an early color and get through immigration before the lines start. It sure would be simpler if the revoked that stupid act that insists we stop at a foreign port!

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I was on the May 8th Diamond to Alaska. I admit that it was not fun waiting the extra long period of time to get off the ship, however, I would have to say the very worst part of this delay was having to listen to so many whining, moaning, bitching folks around me during this process.

 

I felt so sorry for them because if they only knew what they looked (and sounded) like they would have probably felt so ashamed of themselves. I know I did.

 

MTS

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Hey Zebra...I am in Lutz and we go on the Diamond on 5/29!! So, what is the trick getting on/off faster? Did I read this to say that if you check your bags with the porters at the curb than you don't have to stand in such long lines? And I also have a 11:30 am flight back to Tampa, how do you get the early tags? Thanks!!

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Hey cydspal...you're going to have a superb cruise. The diamond is wonderful.

With regard to color tags. They give you your tags and a disembarkation procedure sheet 2 nights before you arrive in Seattle. Make sure that you have the first disembarkation color!!! This is where Princess messed up - no co-ordination with flight departure times and ship disembarkation times. We were scheduled to disembark at 8:05 which didn't happen. They did start disembarkation at the time stipulated on the sheet but we should have been given the first color. We were watching from the window and saw that the Oosterdam started disembarking an hour before us, so the load for Immigration was unbelievable.

 

You should be good to go with the first color - just change it at the Pursers desk the day before disembarkation.

 

Hopefully for those cruising after us things will go smoother - let us know.

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2004;9;6;19;0;00&timezone=GMT+0100

Until Millenium 9/6/2004 to Europe!

 

<center>

<a href="http://www.escati.com/counter98/free_time_codes.htm">

time98.gif</center>

 

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I am curious as to where you wait for embarkation. Is it IN a building or is it all outside? My mother in law will be in a wheelchair - so my plan is to arrive around 12:30 and hope that the lines have started moving. Advice? We are spending the day in Seattle on the return. Since our hotel rooms won't be available until 2 or so, I am in no rush to be the first off the ship. Do they allow you to hang out in the lounges or somewhere until the lines clear? Thanks so much for all the advice and info!

 

Tracy

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2004;6;26;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0800

DIAMOND ALASKA

 

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There is a LARGE area inside where you wait in line for check in. They have the line winding around ropes, so a LOT of people fit in there. Last Saturday, the line was so long that it went outside and around the building--under a long,thin covered area. In the case of Sat the 15th, there were also large numbers of people waiting outside, uncovered. Luckily this wasn't the heat of Miami and we had a nice, overcast Seattle weather while I was there near the line. Unfortunately, a few hours later when I was up in the Space Needle and passengers were surely still waiting in line for check in, we began to get that light "liquid sunshine" that we are so famous for (and rightly so).

 

I would not have wanted to hear the escalation in grumbling that accompanied that development.

 

MTS, I'm with you. Especially when traveling and dealing with US customs/immigration, things don't always go your way, at least wait-wise. The complaining only makes a bad situation worse.

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